The case of Ofori v. Green, 2010 N.Y. Slip Op. 04841 (1st Dept. June 8, 2010), involves a personal injury action arising out of a 2006 automobile accident in New Jersey. It was undisputed that the parties were residents of New York, where their vehicles were registered. The defendants moved for summary judgment to dismiss the case on the grounds that the plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury. The lower court denied defendants’ motion and the Appellate Division unanimously affirmed.
The sole issue on appeal was whether the fortuitous circumstance that the accident happened in New Jersey should negate the requirement of plaintiff having to prove a “serious injury” under Insurance Law § 5102(d). The court determined that it does, emphasizing that New York’s no-fault law applies only to “injuries arising out of negligence in the use or operation of a motor vehicle in this state ” (Insurance Law § 5104[a] [emphasis added]). In this regard, the court stated that it has consistently been held that the statute is not to be given extraterritorial effect.